Monday 10 August 2009

Men's Problems - Baldness

If I allow my hair to grow unchecked it will become a marauding mass of mayhem.

Suffice it to say that I will probably never grow bald, unless I suddenly become possessed by the same urge as Britney Spears and decide to shave my mop clean off.

I can be blasé about my hair but there are many men out there who are envious of the potential forest that can grow on my head.

“How can that be?” I hear you cry. “How can any man be jealous of your wild and untamed hair? Haven’t they read Bad Hair Day?”

These men are envious because they are fighting a losing battle against Mother Nature. In her infinite wisdom she has deemed that certain men will lose their hair – and they don’t like it one little bit. Some of these guys accept Mother Nature’s judgement; others fight back.

A few years ago, I was sitting in a barber’s chair with my glasses off, staring at a blurred unkempt mess of dark blond hair, waiting to be trimmed. The man who was going to fight my mop stood behind me and said

“What do you want me to do with this mess?”

“Can you attack it with scissors around the back and sides and then bring out the big guns and thin out and hack the explosive mane on top please?”

“I’ll do my best,” came the resigned reply.

As he set about the task at hand, I started to moan:

“I hate my hair. I bloody well hate it. Every morning I wake up and stare in the mirror in utter horror. It’s all over the place and can only be tamed with copious amounts of water and a bucketful of patience. Did you know that my missus is trying to make me use products to control it? I ask you – PRODUCTS!!! Can you imagine the amount of bloody styling mousse or wax that I would have to rub into the forest of hair perched on my bonce to contain it even slightly? I’d need to take out a second mortgage and have it delivered in a tanker. I wish my hair was less of a bloody mess”

He stopped cutting.

I assumed that he was laughing at my quips.

He wasn’t.

As I stared at his blurred image in the mirror, something dawned on me. I could see the reflection of light in his head. He was almost totally bald.

“Stop bloody moaning about your hair,” he snarled. “At least you have some.”

I gulped and decided to remain quiet as he finished the job. I’m sure he purposefully dug the scissors in my head a few times as he continued battling my hair. As he hacked and sawed I became paranoid, thinking that he might just shave off my locks out of spite. Thankfully, he was professional and when he had finished, I put on my glasses and stared at my now tame (and still intact) hair.

“That’s fantastic,” I said smiling.

“GRRRR!!!” he snarled.

Actually, the barber’s hair didn’t seem too bad to me. He was in his forties and had black hair at the sides and back but he was completely bald on top. His shiny pate was totally hairless and the lights really did reflect off his head. I almost put my foot in my mouth and remarked on this but I decided that I wanted to leave his establishment alive and with my new haircut intact. I remained tight-lipped. I haven’t been back since.

Men who are going bald or receding, deal with their problem in one of the following ways:

(1) Allow nature to take its course and stay bald, making sure that any hair left is short and complements the baldness. A prime example of this type of man is Patrick Stewart, otherwise known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Start Trek. If I were going bald, this is the man I would emulate.

(2) Shave all of your remaining hair off. From a personal point of view, I would look stupid with absolutely no hair. There are certain people, mostly black guys, who look magnificent with bald heads – it suits them absolutely. If I had no hair, I would look like a wrinkled thumb with a face.

(3) Grow the remaining hair really long and try to cover the baldness. Now this isn’t that much of a problem if the bald spot is on the crown rather than the front of the head. The problem arises when the hair doesn’t cover the bald spot and drifts off to the side or, far worse, the hapless and desperate man grows his hair long at the side of his head and combs it over the bald spot. Not only does it look ridiculous normally, it takes on a whole new life of its own on a windy day, making the man look utterly stupid. This is the kind of thing I mean:

(4) Spray on hair or hair thickener. This stuff is meant to thicken your hair and cover bald spots. Having not seen any of this goo first hand, I can’t vouch for whether it works or not. I wonder whether it simply paints your bald spot and makes you look idiotic or whether it runs in the rain leaving a trail of black liquid running down your neck. Here's what I mean:

(5) Wear a wig. There are several well known celebrities in Britain and abroad who allegedly wear a wig. Personally I believe that wearing a wig is a very bad idea. I have often wondered how men get away with this. One day they leave work with a massive bald head and then return the next day with a full head of hair. I mean, who are they trying to fool? What’s worse is that every man I have ever seen wearing a wig looks exactly like a man wearing a bloody wig; it is that obvious to me.

(6) Have a hair transplant or hair replacement therapy. The Australian cricketer Shane Warne has had laser treatment to restore growth in his hair and, to be honest, the results look impressive. The only problem I guess is that such treatment does not come cheap.

I can guess that any bald or receding guys reading this may react in the same way as my (former) barber did. If I have upset you, allow me to make you feel a little better: here are two photos of me wearing ridiculous wigs and one of my hair as it is. See if you can spot which is which:

The correct answer is (of course) number three is my real hair - though I hasten to add that

(a) it had recently been cut

(b) if allowed to grow unchecked it would look more like the first of the three.


Kath Lockett said...

Love Chunks started losing his hair the second we started going out (or so he says....). His 'low maintenance look' has never bothered me and he doesn't have to go to the hairdressers but just gets the clippers out and gives himself a number (CUT, Mr Plasmanc, not POO) all over.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kath,

Sometimes I sincerely wish I was bald. But then I think of the thumb ...




Robin Easton said...

OMG!! You are sooooooo funny. And you DO have great hair. I laughed all through this, but this line made me lose it.

"Can you attack it with scissors around the back and sides and then bring out the big guns and thin out and hack the explosive mane on top please?”


Oh geez, and all the while I REALLY thought you had long black hair. I guess, due to that photo of you.

This whole thing reminded me of a guy I knew who was going quite bald on top and even a lot on the sides. So he grew one side about a foot and half to two feet long (as it was thin) and he wrapped it around his head in a circle. LOLOLOL!!!! I am NOT kidding. And one day I saw him in town and it was really really windy and I saw this bald head with this long 'tale' blowing in the wind behind him...only on one side. I am laughing about it, but honestly at the time my heart REALLY ached for him as he was embarrassed when 'it' blew off the top of his head and he frantically tried to re-wrap it.

I think if I went bald I would just shave my head. I've not yet seen a man who looks bad bald. The weird thing is I once asked all my women friends how they felt about balding men, partial baldness or complete and not ONE of them objected. In fact some found it very sexy. Baldness was at the bottom of their list of things to avoid when looking for a man.

This is such a fun post because it really hits into how vulnerable us humans are. AND how funny we can act when vulnerable.

You are a GREAT writer. You HAVE to do that book. Okay?!! Several people on my last post related to your comment (they always do), which just totally pleased me. I responded to it. Thank you so much for just being exactly who you are.

Cheers my friend,
Robin :))

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Robin,

The long black hair was a wig for a photo shoot that Mrs PM did with me the hapless victim dressed as Gene Simmons. My hair is short and dark blond and when it grows, boy does it grow - like a monster out of a horror film ...

I have seen a man who refuses to accept his baldness but I didn't include him in the post out of respect really (though I know for a fact that he spent 15 minutes swirling the hair around on his head in the morning only for it to slide off at some point during the day and make him look like an utter buffoon).

I know women find baldness sexy - bald men just don't believe it.

I will also commence battle against procrastination - I think I may make it the subject of my next blog post.

Thanks again for your kind comments. Looking forward to the next portal of Plastic Mancunian failure - er sorry awareness.




bingkee said...

My hubby shaved all his remaining hair off his head . I think it looks great on him because it brings out the best of his features ---like his eyes and nose. He got the idea from my brother who shaved his head too. They both look much better with no hair.
My hubby, when he goes gigging usually wears hats to accessorize his look as a rock guitarist.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bingkee,

That's exactly what I would do (and indeed am tempted to do).

Sadly it would all grow back again (which is why I don't bother).




earthtoholly said...

Hee-hee...funny stuff, PM. You know that Bad Hair Day is one of my favorites.

Very clever photos of yourself...amazing how much a little makeup can mask---I still cannot imagine how you look! Your first pic reminds me of your old cartoon avatar.

So, do you grow your hair longer in the winter? :o)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Holly,

I could grow my hair longer in winter - the only problem is I would look like a Yeti.




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